A CREDIT union which covers York and North Yorkshire has temporarily stopped issuing new loans and taking on new members.

North Yorkshire Credit Union’s board of directors said the decision had been taken because of a review and reorganisation of its operation, but it expected to be able to fully restore its service within the next few weeks.

The organisation also called a temporary halt to its school savings clubs at the start of the new term due to an administrative backlog, but said these had now been reopened and were operating as normal. It has also said the decision to suspend new members and loans is not down to a shortage of money and no savings are at risk.

Nick Marshall, the credit union’s manager, said the move was due to a “financial issue” which was currently being discussed with the Financial Services Authority, but regulatory guidelines meant further details could not be made public at the moment. People who approach the union with a view to joining, or existing members who want to take out new loans, are being referred to Teesside-based charity Five Lamps until the suspension is lifted.

A statement from Coun Janet Looker, chairman of the board of directors of the union, said: “Due to a review and reorganisation of its service provision, the board of directors of North Yorkshire Credit Union has reluctantly taken the decision to temporarily stop issuing new loans and to stop accepting new members. We expect to shortly be informing our members of plans to fully restore credit union services in York and North Yorkshire.”

North Yorkshire Credit Union was formed in 2009, following the expansion of York Credit Union, and is open to anybody who lives, works, studies or volunteers in York and North Yorkshire.

Members pay a minimum of £1 to start a share account and can then apply for loans at “responsible” rates.

The union has about 5,000 active members and 7,000 in total, including 1,200 junior members, who are under 16.